MX23RW : Wednesday, October 20 13:04:27| >> :600:843528:843528:
Sep 4, 2021 at 5.45pm UK at Khalifa International Stadium
QatarQatar
1-3
PortugalPortugal
Hassan (61')
Hassan (10'), Al Heidos (85')
Barsham (43'), Khoukhi (87')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Silva (23'), Otavio (25'), Fernandes (88' pen.)
Otavio (65')

Preview: Qatar vs. Portugal - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's International Friendlies clash between Qatar and Portugal, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Taking a break from World Cup 2022 qualification, Portugal prepare to meet the hosts of next year's tournament Qatar in a friendly encounter on Saturday evening.

Felix Sanchez's side were most recently thrashed 4-0 by Serbia in a midweek clash, whereas Portugal scraped a narrow 2-1 qualifying win over the Republic of Ireland thanks to a certain record-breaker.


Match preview

Qatar's head coach Felix Sanchez Bas on June 7, 2021© Reuters

While Qatar's status as hosts saw them automatically qualify for the 2022 World Cup, the Asian nation still partook in AFC Qualifying in order to book their spot in the 2023 Asian Cup, and Sanchez's side laid down a marker with 22 points from 24 in a group comprising Oman, India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

After breezing their way past their continental counterparts, Qatar's invite to the CONCACAF Gold Cup saw them pit their wits against Grenada, Honduras and El Salvador successfully, but facing the United States in the semi-finals proved a bridge too far as Gyasi Zardes sent the World Cup hosts packing.

Having reconvened for a batch of friendlies in September, Qatar's battle with Serbia was certainly a humbling experience, as Luka Jovic, Dusan Vlahovic, Nikola Milenkovic and an own goal from Boualem Khoukhi saw the European side ease to a resounding 4-0 win.

Sanchez's side had managed to embark on a 12-game unbeaten run across all tournaments before confidence-sapping defeats to the US and Serbia, but not since 2017 have the hosts lost three games in a row, and Portugal certainly have bigger fish to fry at present.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his record-breaking goal for Portugal against the Republic of Ireland in a World Cup qualifier on September 1, 2021© Reuters

Leaving Ferenc Puskas, Mokhtar Dahari and Ali Daei in his wake, Cristiano Ronaldo literally rose head and shoulders above the rest to shatter yet another long-standing record and become the greatest international goalscorer in the history of the men's game.

After witnessing teenage goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu expertly keep out his first-half penalty, Ronaldo's 110th international goal saw him head home in the 89th minute after John Egan's opener, and the Manchester United returnee harnessed all of his aerial prowess to produce an almost identical winner with seconds to spare.

Ronaldo understandably grabbed the headlines, and Fernando Santos's side have moved onto 10 points at the top of UEFA qualification Group A following their last-gasp win over Ireland, but the Euro 2016 champions cannot rely on the five-time Ballon d'Or winner to bail them out of trouble forever.

Portugal prepare for a taxing journey to Baku to take on Azerbaijan following their battle with Qatar, and victory over Ireland at least managed to help Santos's side end a three-game winless run from their failed Euro 2020 exploits, while they have kept clean sheets in each of their last four friendly matches.

Saturday's meeting represents the inaugural clash between Qatar and Portugal, who will also face off in another friendly next month, and the hosts will be desperate to give a good account of themselves before 2022 rolls around.

Qatar International Friendlies form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L

Qatar form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Portugal International Friendlies form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W

Portugal form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W



Team News

Portugal manager Fernando Santos on June 15, 2021© Reuters

Qatar ought to retain the five-man defence from their crushing defeat to Serbia, although Homam Ahmed is an option for change on the left-hand side.

Ahmed Alaaeldin was handed a start up top last time out but failed to add to his tally of a solitary goal in 38 international appearances, so Akram Afif will hope to be re-introduced here.

Portugal did not pick up any fresh injury concerns from their victory over Ireland, but uncapped defender Goncalo Inacio was forced to withdraw from the squad with a thigh issue alongside Ricardo Pereira and Pedro Goncalves.

Inacio's exit leaves Otavio and Diogo Costa as the two other players in Santos's ranks still awaiting their international debuts, and both men should be granted them here as the Portugal boss prioritises World Cup qualification.

Wolverhampton Wanderers trio Nelson Semedo, Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho can also be hopeful of earning starting roles, while Andre Silva could be chosen to lead the line as Ronaldo has left the camp.

Qatar possible starting lineup:
Al-Sheeb; Miguel, Al-Rawi, Khoukhi, Salman, Hassan; Madibo, Boudiaf, Al-Haydos; Afif, Ali

Portugal possible starting lineup:
Costa; Semedo, Duarte, Dias, Mendes; Pereira, Neves, Moutinho; Otavio, A. Silva, Guedes


SM words green background

We say: Qatar 0-3 Portugal

Portugal boss Santos could be tempted to make a full 11 changes for this friendly while he keeps one eye on the trip to Azerbaijan, and Qatar have posted some eye-catching results over the past 12 months.

However, the visitors' second-string XI should still have far too much quality for their hosts, and we can only back a resounding victory for Santos's side.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


ID:461931:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect12643:

How you voted: Qatar vs Portugal

Qatar
15.0%
Draw
1.3%
Portugal
83.8%
80
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Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his record-breaking goal for Portugal against the Republic of Ireland in a World Cup qualifier on September 1, 2021
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Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo dedicates goals record to his nation
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